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New face

Name - David Hardy

Age - 24

Current post - Newly qualified, teaching Year 5 at Mayfield county primary school, Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire

Career to date?

After I left school, I signed up for a physical education course at Edge Hill college. But after a year I realised I didn't want to do just PE and decided to go into education. I did a degree in primary education with physical education at Charlotte Mason college, Ambleside.

Why did you become a teacher?

I had thought of becoming a fireman, but I went into teaching to shut my mum up. She is a primary teacher and I'd been helping out in her school - she and her fellow teachers kept saying I should have a go at teaching. She was pestering me - "teaching would be wonderful for you, you'd be brilliant at it", and so on. My dad said: "Just to keep the peace, go along with it until Christmas. If it's not for you, join the fire brigade." So I got on to the course, had my first day in a school, and fell in love with teaching. Now I'm glad my mum was so persistent.

What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?

There's a boy in my class who's had a rough time - he has callipers on his legs and wears hearing aids. He's been a bit upset at times, asking what he's good at. We had a football game recently and an hour or two before the game we told him he'd been picked for the side. I'll never forget the smile on his face. He only came on for the last five minutes, but seeing him running on to the pitch was fantastic.

And the worst?

On my first day at this school, the children were lining up outside while I was trying to sort out the classroom for them before they came in. There was this big palm in a pot in the corner and I decided to move it. As I picked it up, I suddenly realised the tray underneath was full of water and I ended up with water all down my front. That was embarrassing.

What do you like most about teaching?

I like PE, but I also like this primary school job. It's the idea that you can do every subject, also that these children are my class. That really puts a smile on my face - that I am their teacher.

What is your dream job?

Deputy headship in a school that is keen on sport.

Top tip?

Pretend you're a swan - you've got to look calm and collected and know what you're doing, but really under the surface you're just paddling your feet for dear life to keep going.

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